2017 Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 1
  • Hyun-ji Song

    Still wanting that 9000 series crank and the next gen is coming out already!

  • Cycling iQ

    James is probably correct about the 11spd format though it’s also the case that sample bikes at this time of year often do not have a catalogue-correct spec’ if Shimano hasn’t made sufficient MY17 samples available. ie, there could be a 12spd cassette in the pipeline for MY17 but insufficient samples, so brand (especially if not a priority client of Shimano) has used an 11spd cassette for display instead.

    • James Huang

      It looks to me like these images were taken at a Shimano event, not one of their OEM customers. If you look at the down tube on the frame, I believe you can just make out a ‘D’ and a ‘U’. This would be in keeping with Shimano’s habit of commissioning frames specifically to display groupsets.

      • Dave

        They usually just buy stock standard frames and have them painted up, not specially commissioned frames.

        At the TDU Bike Expo this year, the Shimano display bikes (and the neutral service spare bikes) were all Avanti frames. In previous years they had used Giant frames.

        • James Huang

          Sorry, commissioning maybe wasn’t the best word choice. Yes, stock frames (always changes from launch to launch) with monochrome paint.

  • a different ben

    I don’t know why I read this. I can’t even afford old 10-speed Dura Ace.

    • James Huang

      Because before you know it, all of these features will trickle down to 105 :)

      • Kieran Degan

        What about sora?

        • James Huang

          Well, seeing as how Shimano just announced a new Sora and it’s still 9-speed, it unfortunately might be a little more of a wait than you’d like for that one.

          • Alex L

            But the new Sora has adapted the 4 arm design, longer swing arm on the FD, updated brake calipers and the new shifter hood shape, so the trickle down definitely does happen!

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      • a different ben

        Steady on there James, 105? I have some self-respect.

        :)

  • AMK3072

    that RD looks a lot like XTR.

  • MadBlack

    I surely hope there’s going to be a polished version as this black looks cheap and undeserving of the dura-ace name.

    • James Huang

      I wouldn’t bet on it. Shimano has never offered Dura-Ace in multiple finishes and I don’t expect that trend to change. This wouldn’t be the first time Shimano has stirred some controversy over a new groupset aesthetic.

    • Horatio Burton

      The finish looks very similar to M9000 XTR. In daylight it looks really nice and is not quite as dark as the photos suggest.
      I’m loving the Silver ‘Dura Ace’ lettering that pops on the dark crank…

  • Tim David

    Great write up given the small amount of info to go on. Good deductive reasoning!

    • James Huang

      Thanks! As they say, a picture says a thousand words. Or in this case, about 900 since I had two and wrote just shy of 1,800 words ;)

    • Mike Blaszczak

      I think you’re confusing “deductive” with “inductive”.

  • Adam O’Halloran

    It’s a great article and I love the colour! One thing I noticed from your article, especially from the ‘what we know’ and ‘what we think we know’ sections, appears to only offer the most marginal of gains for the pro’s and much less for us mere mortals. If you guessed right about the power metre, then that is at least something worth looking at (besides the colour).

    • Dave Koesel

      A lighter stiffer hydro group and 30t cassette would be welcome for most “mortals”, no?

  • jon

    This is like writing a review on Kanye West new album when it was release and then not release: going off on nothing physical.

  • Emil Holt

    What about those wheels? Look Dura-Ace branded to me as well as having a rounder/wider profile than the current generation.

  • Stian Pollestad

    OMG, they’ve come up with a chain-less groupset. So exited!

    • Laurens

      Wireless is so 2015!

  • Will

    It looks… ugly?

  • Winky

    Carbon fibre construction, is not “brittle” when compared to aluminium. You can even make as serviceable spring out of carbon. My pedals have them. No, the reason to not use carbon is not because it is “brittle”.

    • James Huang

      The question is not how much a material can bend but what happens when you bend it too far.

      Most materials can function as a spring (to varying levels of success, mind you) provided the range of motion is kept within the elastic region of the material’s stress-strain curve – carbon fiber included.

      The problem is when the applied loads exceed that elastic region. Whereas most metals such as aluminum and steel will fail in a more ductile manner, giving more warning when ultimate failure, carbon fiber isn’t nearly as friendly in that respect.

      • Winky

        What, so they use aluminium because when it fails it does so differently? For brake spiders, the goal is no failure. If it fails you will have a bad day, no matter the material it is made from. My guess is that they use metal because of the thermal properties, and perhaps cost.

        Shimano have very good forging capability thus making production of high quality metal parts possible. This is where some of the CNC-based smaller manufacturers struggle to compete.

        • James Huang

          Yep, absolutely agreed – no failure is of course the goal and Shimano is absolutely brilliant when it comes to forging. The point I was trying to make is that with the UCI settling on 160mm as the standard for the peloton, Shimano *could* possibly move to a lighter carbon composite spider. The system was originally designed around 140mm rotors so at least in theory, a 160mm rotor with an aluminum carrier would have more heat capacity than necessary. That said, I don’t think Shimano will do so since aluminum is still a safer material overall and Shimano probably won’t want to waste that extra heat capacity for a handful of grams.

    • Alex L

      It’s more a point about homogeneity of the material properties and the advantages it confers. Your pedals are not actually carbon fibre (assuming you have the standard Shimano 105/Ultegra/DA ones), they’re actually bulk-moulded composite. Which is a variant of carbon fibre – featuring short chopped non-aligned carbon fibres in a resin matrix. To get the most out of CFRP, you need to align the fibres in specific orientations – tubesets and rims are natural candidates.

      But parts with complex multi-directional stresses, like cranksets and stems don’t really benefit much from being made out of CFRP. High quality alloy stems are the same weight as carbon ones (excluding the ones that sacrifice reliability like Tune, AX, etc.) Similar deal with cranksets, the RED and Force cranksets – the minimal weight savings are not worth the increased manufacturing difficulty, especially given the Shimano Hollowtech II design is a very advanced forging.

      Likewise, I don’t see much advantage in going to carbon rotor carriers just for the sake of it. Shimano had enough problems with the original DA-9000 cassette spider (I saw ones that failed every 10,000km and Shimano had to keep replacing them under warranty).

      • winkybiker

        I was really just talking about the springs in my Keo blades. I understand that small complex parts like derailleur bodies and cassette spiders are not an obvious application for composites, in spite of the success that Campagnolo have had with small carbon bits. My issue with James’ statement was the simple claim that carbon composite construction was more brittle than aluminium.

        Shimano cranksets are great, but I also can’t fault anything about the numerous carbon bits on my Record and Super Record groupsets. The only thing that has ever failed on either groupset was made of steel (ultra-torque bolt – 3 times!). In fact, in what is now 25 years of riding carbon frames and other bits, I have never had a single carbon component fail. The closest I have come was an alloy BB shell that became unglued from a Trek 5500 OCLV frame. An inspection showed a clearly substandard factory installation – just a thin squiggle of epoxy, covering about than 20% of the available bonding area. I don’t blame the carbon frame for that one.

  • Lin

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BCptj9dEKKF/

    Hey James can you tell me about the brake caliper here? Also is the front derailleur mechanical?

    • James Huang

      I saw that pic earlier this morning. It’s impossible to say with certainty but there’s little doubt in my mind that both derailleurs are still electronic. As for these direct mount brakes, they look much more angular than before but aside from that, the image is too grainy for me to draw any firm conclusions.

      • JJA

        Direct mount brakes, wider rims, possibly carbon clinchers?

    • Alex L

      Hard to see clearly, but it looks like the brake caliper is wider than the current model – which is logical because the current 9000 brake caliper can struggle with wider rims, which are currently very on-trend.

  • nathan ong

    photography unknown (which isn’t hard to find for this pic), yet CT will watermark them at cyclingtips? eh

    • James Huang

      Assuming you’re referring to the Melbourne Uni Cycling Club? They posted it briefly on their IG page but they didn’t shoot the images. We managed to source higher-res versions of those pics but honestly can’t tell who originally shot them.

      As for the watermarks, no, we didn’t shoot the images (and have clearly specified as such) but did do a fair bit of processing to extract some more detail.

  • Durian Rider

    @James did you used to ride/live in Radelaide on a white Trek OCLV 15 years ago?

    Also the current gen 11 spd road shimano SS rear deraileurs all work fine with a 32 cassette on any modern road frame that is running vertical drop outs.

    Ive got this set up on 7 of my personal bikes (4 of which are 9070) and have installed it on about 20 and seen it work on another 30+ bikes in my social group.

    No need for long cage unless one wants to run the 40 tooth. Then again Im running one of those with a RD9070 and using a Lindarets Road Link to get it done.

    • James Huang

      Sorry, nope! I did used to own a Trek OCLV road bike but it was more like 23 years ago.

      • Durian Rider

        Cheers mate must have been your twin.

        I remember he ran a 9spd M950 XTR rear mech on it and a 32 cassette and we used to laugh at that concept but fast forward 16 years later and Im running 32 cassettes on my climbing bikes and climbing faster than I ever have.

  • Barf lap

    Inductive reasoning, deductive reasoing. Idk. I hated science class. Howbout some in-plain-sight reasoning/guessing…thru axle DA hubs :)

  • Chris

    Shimano: Don’t miss the opportunity to add in a GPS tracker integrated into the Di2 system. Many potential uses; one being bike theft retrieval via smartphone app.

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